With the dramatic success of startups like Dropbox, Groupon, and Twitter, many people are wondering, what’s their secret? Forrester’s Kerry Bodine took note of one innovative approach shared by all three companies: these newer companies seek to actively brand and engage customer feelings at even minor customer touchpoints such as the confirmation email, billing statements, etc. This attention to managing brand detail could be driving heightened loyalty levels.
Certainly, this idea of branding customer touchpoints has made its way into the zeitgeist with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh describing the “telephone as one of best branding devices out there” and other marketers quick to point to the power of customer experience branding.
But the biggest companies mostly leave their customer touchpoints untapped for their brand value. When it comes to customer service (the most memorable of all touchpoints), branding is often completely ignored.
Bodine argues that these opportunities are squandered because large corporations are crippled by too many silos, over concerned with the demands of ROI and lacking customer focus.
As Customer Experience Analysts, we find these factors contribute, but are hardly the root cause. The real reason why companies tend to lag when it comes to touchpoint branding is they subscribe to antiquated notions that engaging customers’ feelings isn’t important and small details will go unnoticed. Neither is true. Feelings trump facts and just because something is small doesn’t make it small.
Until CEOs and COOs start asking essential branding questions, such as: “what percent of our customer interactions are branded?” “how engaging are our frontline reps?” or “have we trained our customer service reps to deliver our core marketing messages?”, companies won’t carry their big marketing ideas through to the front line. And that means they won’t be able to keep up with the hip Zappos and Dropboxes of the world.